Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Players, Game One: The Counties

The 19 page document that Mariah Booth Winfield Moffett Booth divorced her second husband, and first cousin, Dr. George Washington Booth within, lists dozens of witnesses, the biggest most of them related to the two. It appeared to be a nasty divorce from a short-lived marriage, with Mariah accusing her husband of an assortment of motley offenses from drunkeness, to having his pleasure with the slaves, to abusing her verbally and otherwise and of selling off her property, people and property, at random, with no consultation or conference with her.

To make her point, she seems to have drug the entire Alabama Booth Clan into court. The good thing about it is that Mariah and her divorce helped to make clear several family connections which have seemed to befuddle descendants in other states.

While the family lived in Alabama for awhile, most of them did not stay there. The Booths were at traveling bunch, with wheels on their heels and an itch in their britches. By Booth, I not only mean those with the surname Booth, but surely those, I also refer to those with Booth blood and family connections: The Jones, the Watkins, the Simmons, the Noels, the Kernachans, the Malones, the Winfields and all the other intermarried families.


To understand the various counties that the family settled in, after traveling from Virginia, into North Carolina or Tennesse or South Carolian first, it helps to how close they actually were.

Harper Booth, father of George Washington Booth and patriarch of all of those other Dr. Booths, moved from Mecklenburg County, Virginia, into Halifax County, North Carolina, then to Lawrence County, Alabama by 1825 and later into Franklin County, Alabama, just next door, before crossing the border to Mississippi into Itawamba, Tishamungo  and Lee Counties.

The Alabama counties and the Mississippi Counties were in close proximity to each other.

The Booths and et al basically built their Plantations along the Tennesee River. Lauderdale County, which will come up many times in this research, lie along the north border of the Tennesee River in the most northwest corner of Alabama. These were the pioneers of the Muscle Shoals.

Getting a feel of where they were located, and while awaiting the arrival of other documentation, I am going to explore the individuals named and involved in Mariah's suit.


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